Ganondagan State Historic Site

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Boughton Hill
Ganondagan Long House
Ganondagan State Historic Site is located in New York
Ganondagan State Historic Site
Location Victor, NY
Coordinates 42°57′40.16″N 77°24′45.85″W / 42.9611556°N 77.4127361°W / 42.9611556; -77.4127361Coordinates: 42°57′40.16″N 77°24′45.85″W / 42.9611556°N 77.4127361°W / 42.9611556; -77.4127361
Built 1670
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 66000559
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966[1]
Designated NHL July 19, 1964[2]

Ganondagan State Historic Site also known as Boughton Hill is a New York State Native American historic site in Ontario County, New York in the USA. The historic site is in the Town of Victor, southwest of the Village of Victor. It consists of two areas: a 245-acre (99 ha) Boughton Hill portion is a National Historic Landmark, and the Fort Hill portion, of 33 acres (13 ha), is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[3]


Ganondagan has a visitors center, a reconstructed Seneca long house and miles of trails at this location of a 17th-century Seneca village. The Friends of Ganondagan have created an effort to preserve not only the Ganondagan land but the cultural traditions as well.

Seneca Tradition[edit]

Trail of Peace

Ganondagan was once the largest Seneca town within the Western gateway of Haudenosaunee territory. It is also at the center of the story of the Peacemaker, who unified the Haudenosaunee people and created the Haudenosaunee confederacy which survives to this day. The Three Sisters consist of corn, beans, and squash and are traditionally the staple foods of the Haudenosaunee.[4]

Seneca oral tradition tells of a Huron man who arrived among the Mohawks speaking of the Gayanesshagowa [5] (aka The Great Law of Peace). This prophet is known today as The Great Peacemaker. The Mohawk, Oneida, and Cayuga pledged to join his proposed confederation, and following a dramatic interlude, the Seneca agreed also. The discussion about how to bring in the Onondaga found its way into the house of a Seneca woman, Jikonsase, now known as the Mother of Nations. She proposed a solution which eventually brought the Onondaga into the fold. She lived in the vicinity of Ganondagan, and is buried nearby. The Seneca refer to Ganondagan as the "Town of Peace", and revere and protect the burial site of the Mother of Nations. Through this experience the Seneca gave us the foundation for our democracy today.[6]

Ganondagan and its adjoining fields were burned on July 14, 1687, as part of the punitive expedition from Montreal led by the Marquis de Denonville.[7] The French were leading an army from Canada to annihilate the Seneca and eliminate them as competitors in the international fur trade, known as the Beaver Wars.[8] The Seneca people lived in an estimated 150 longhouses with several families of the same matriarchal clan residing together within the same dwelling.[9] The battle took place within view of these longhouses on Boughton Hill.[5]

The Seneca people have made many contributions to America throughout its history. The political ideals the Seneca people had were contributed to the U.S. Constitution. Seneca's matriarchal societal ideals also led to the 1848 declaration of sentiments in which women received the right to vote.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ "Boughton Hill (Gannagaro)". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-11. 
  3. ^ "National White House Millennium tours". White House Millennium Tours. 
  4. ^ Burkard, Kimberly. "Knowing the Three Sisters". Friends of Ganondagan. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  5. ^ a b "The First Lady's Treasure Tour". White House Millennium Council. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  6. ^ Friends of Ganondagan. "Ganondagan". Friends of Ganondagan. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  7. ^ Published primary accounts of the French expedition include Jacques-Rene de Brisay de Nonville, “Narrative of the expedition of the Marquis de Nonville against the Senecas, in 1687,” trans. Orsamus H. Marshall, New York Historical Society Collections, 2d ser. 2, pt. 3 (1848): 149–92 and Louis-Henry de Baugy, “Journal du voyage de Monsier le Marquis de Denonville pour la guerre contre les Hyroquois, de l’année 1687 le 23e may,” in Journal d’une expédition contre les Iroquois en 1687. Lettres et pieces relatives au Fort Saint-Louis des Illinois, éd. par Ernest Hubert Auguste Serrigny (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1883), 49–127.
  8. ^ About Ganondagan
  9. ^ Ganondagan State Historic Site, Seneca Nation Landmark
  10. ^ About Ganondagan

External links[edit]